Through Their Message

Then seizing him (Jesus) they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. But when they kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.

A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”

“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

Just as he was speaking the rooster crowed.

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the words the Lord had spoken to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.

And he went outside and wept bitterly. Luke 22:54-62


Three questions came to mind after reading this:

  • What does it mean to weep bitterly?
  • How does weeping bitterly affect us?
  • Have you ever?

When the Lord looked directly at Peter; it was not an ’I told you so moment!’ but it was with sorrow: because Jesus looked into Peter’s face and witnessed Peter’s realization of what had just happened.


He knew Peter’s heart. He knew the struggle Peter had with quick decisions and to encourage Peter he had told him: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22: 31-32

He knew that Peter would stumble; he knows the hearts of all men.

Some will stumble and fall and get up, some will stumble never to get up again; there is nothing about a man that will take the Lord by surprise.


It is to each of us; as we come to see who we are, and of how we have been molded by the world and of how we react to it; well, that comes as a surprise to each of us! But with our now being in the Lord and learning his ways; we see how far we have really fallen, and how far we have come, and how far yet to go on our path in attaining a life of holiness and righteous.


John writes: When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”

“Yes Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, do you truly love me?”

He answered, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”


The third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?”

He said, “Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17


So much has happened since the night of Jesus arrest, since the night when what had been told to Peter of himself  by the Lord had come true, and despite Peter’s ‘good’ intentions he had fallen in the moment of truth and when the cock crowed after his third denial of knowing Jesus: Peter would look up to see Jesus looking at him and in that instant he knew he was not the man that he had believed himself to be, and facing that reality, and finding himself weak by betraying the one he loved because of his pride: he went outside and wept bitterly.


This was more than just being proven wrong, this was intense, painful, distressing and when we come to see ourselves as Jesus has seen us, and when we look into Jesus face, do we or are we like Peter and melt finding ourselves in sorrow and tears when we see beyond who we think we are and come face to face with who we are!

We aren’t busted, but we have witnessed a revelation!

 With the Lord there are no ‘got cha’ moments: only moments of revelation; meant to cleanse, to awaken, and to transform us.

There were no words that could form on Peter’s lips, there was no comfort in that moment, and when he got outside he wept bitterly. He was seeing himself: maybe for the first time: face to face.


Have you ever wept bitterly?


I have, many are the occasions and like so many other experiences with the Lord, as hot and burning as the tears were, they were cleansing and part of the refining process. So great has been the pain that has accompanied those tears that when their passing was completed; I often found myself physically drained and that I had not the strength to rise immediately, and so I sat there or laid there, contemplating what had just happened, thinking about what had just been revealed to me.


Without these windows of opportunity ( to grow) we can come to be complacent,  and stagnant; because we do not see ourselves as we are, as the Lord sees us now before we have truly and completely given ourselves over to him and we miss the opportunity to see what we can be: more like him; and a bit so every day.


Jesus prayed for Peter that his faith may not fail, not that he wouldn’t fall – but that his faith wouldn’t fail.

He knew Peter was going to fail this test because he continued to tell him: “and when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Peter would be tried and tested and would continue to grow stronger in his faith after each testing; whether standing through it, or rising up after a fall.

We do not know how the Lord will use each of us, or where he will send us; but if we will let down our guard, bridle our pride, take every thought captive; we may not need to spend as much time weeping bitterly for the things we say and do.


Have mercy on me O God, according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion, blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Create in me a pure heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not caste me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant a willing spirit to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways and sinners will turn back to you. Psalm 51:1-2, 10-13

A prayer of David that we can be sure that Peter had heard, and knew, and now he had lived it!


Jesus prayed that Peter’s strength not fail. Peter would give the rest of his days preaching (proclaiming) the gospel message) because he truly loved the Lord and even through his many short comings: he was used by God and through his message helped many transgressors and sinners to come find their way to the Lord and to know the ways of the Lord. His words would strengthen and encourage the brethren and he was a light in the world; just as you and I are called to be.


Never count yourself out, only a closed heart can do that and if you are willing the Lord will use you to strengthen and encourage the brethren and to help lost sinners to find and come to know the Lord.

Our stories – because of him help the blind to see, the deaf to hear and because of him; lives are changed!!

It truly is not about you and me, but about him; and life in and through him – He, is the Lord Jesus Christ.


Sit with him awhile, listen closely to what he shares and be ready to give the answer:

__________, do you truly love me?

__________, do you truly love me?

__________, do you love me?

__________, Feed my sheep.


Wept Bitterly

Through Their Message: By Ronda Cooper

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